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Poppy stands as a symbol of reconciliation

THE ban on the sale of poppies in council offices by the shadow Mid-Ulster District Council is very strange.

At the beginning of the First World War in 1914, the senior members of the IRA hierarchy supported the recruitment of Irishmen to join the British Army.

After the war, those recruits who survived were vilified and those who died were ignored. In recent years, the government of the Republic has come to honour these men.

The poppies are for remembrance, but they also represent a powerful movement for reconciliation.

My son's partner is German, but she attends the annual service at a local cenotaph and sees her poppy as representing all those who have died in wars and conflicts.

By turning the poppies into some kind of political emblem, are Sinn Fein and SDLP declaring that they are opposed to reconciliation and are determined to perpetuate political and social dissension?

Or have they simply failed to understand everything the poppies stand for?

DENIS MAYNE

Bangor, Co Down

Belfast Telegraph

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